Hawk Vision


by Julie Weiss


I didn´t think of it as suicide until it was too late.

Leaping off the cliff was a leap of faith, a belief

 

in the wind to carry me forth on its shoulders if only

I´d arch my body into the grace of a hawk, shed

 

what gravity held me to earth, sow the valley

with my tears so that fifty years on, the trees

 

would weep the tragedy of our love: girl meets girl

and two families collapse in charred pieces as if

 

stuck by lightning. How many lies about charming

village boys did we trill through painted lips, tuck

 

under frilly skirts to throw our parents off our trail?

How many hideouts did we fashion only to be trapped

 

like a pair of vixens, dragged home in opposite directions?

My parents´ threats might have been soaked in liquor

 

for the depth of burn in my throat and yours

left scars across your skin again and again

 

and yet, you were always the stronger one, said

please hold on, we´re seventeen, almost free.

 

Freedom twinkled brighter beyond the horizon.

You might, from the vantage point of birds, have been

 

a tree stump, sunk in the mud puddling my body.

If you had looked up, you would have seen me

 

slicing through the mist, circling above my own

fractured limbs, wings as sharp as loss, as regret.

 

If anyone had stilled your wail, you would have heard

all my voices falling, deflated, into your hands.


Julie Weiss´s debut chapbook, ‘The Places We Empty,’ will be published by Kelsay Books in July 2021. In 2020, she was a finalist in Alexandria Quarterly´s first line poetry contest series and for The Magnolia Review´s Ink Award. In 2019 she was a Best of the Net Nominee. Recent work appears in Better Than Starbucks, Praxis Magazine, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and Anti-Heroin Chic, among others, and she has poems in many anthologies, as well. Originally from California, she lives in Spain with her wife and two young children. You can find her on Twitter @colourofpoetry or on her website at https://julieweiss2001.wordpress.com/.